The Uyo Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons has arrested four suspects for alleged child trafficking.
The agency’s zonal Commander, Nduka Nwanwenne, on Tuesday, listed the suspects as Eno Ime, 35; Ita Udofia, 45; Juliana Effiong, 40; and Nneka Ejekwu.
According to him, Ime, who already had eight children, was having difficulties with her ninth pregnancy and taking care of her children, and so decided to seek help from her neighbour, Udofia.
It was gathered that Udofia introduced her to Effiong, a traditional birth attendant and a quasi-nurse based in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, who allegedly administered some drugs on her before she was able to deliver.
Trouble started, however, when she discovered that her baby later died and the sum of N250,000 was found in her bag.
The statement said, “One Mrs Eno Ime, 35, a single mother of eight children, was apparently having difficulties taking care of her full-blown ninth pregnancy and her children. The situation made her be in need and very vulnerable.
At this point, her neighbour, Mr Ita Jacob Udofia, 45, who pretended to assist her by introducing her to one Mrs Juliana Effiong, 40, the prime suspect who is a traditional birth attendant and quasi nurse based in Port Harcourt.
“The victim was sent some money through Mr Udofia to come over to Port Harcourt to meet the prime suspect.
“In Port Harcourt, the victim was administered some drugs and was delivered of a baby. The victim was further induced by drugs that made her lose consciousness after delivery. When, however, she came around, she was informed that her baby was dead.
“She said she saw the sum of N250,000 in her handbag but handed over the money to one man to help her retrieve her baby.”
The statement added, “Meanwhile, the suspect had arranged to hand over the baby to one Mrs Nneka Ejekwu, who had a cryptic pregnancy. Mrs Juliana Effiong was said to have been treating both Mr and Mrs Ejekwu with fertility drugs to enable her to conceive a baby.
“Having cornered the newborn baby, Mrs Ejekwu, who had earlier parted with the sum of N1,300,000, was invited by Juliana and induced into labour. By the time she came around, she was presented with a newborn baby of the victim as her baby.”
Nwanwenne said the agency would not spare any effort to bust the entire syndicate.